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Precautions while using Oxygen Therapy
safety tips for preventing accidents when using oxygen therapy.
21. Oxygen Equipment Safety
Do not store your oxygen system near any heat sources or open flames. Do not expose your oxygen equipment to electrical appliances (such as electric razors, hair dryers, electric blankets, etc.). Check that all electrical equipment in the area near the oxygen is properly grounded. Keep the oxygen system away from aerosol cans or sprays, including air fresheners or hair spray. These products are very flammable. Keep the oxygen system clean and dust free. The person who delivers your oxygen will show you how to do this. Keep the oxygen system in a place where it wont get knocked over.
22. Do not carry liquid oxygen in a backpack
Always store your oxygen equipment in a well ventilated area. An oxygen cylinder must be secured at all times; put it in a cart or lay it down flat. Do not carry liquid oxygen in a backpack or other enclosed space. Carrying cases, shoulder or hand bags, shoulder straps and backpack oxygen units are available to provide proper ventilation for the unit to ensure safety. Take precautions to avoid skin contact when filling your portable liquid oxygen tank, as frost buildup could cause injury.
23. Home oxygen precautions
The normal air we all breathe is made up mainly of nitrogen gas, with only 20 per cent being oxygen. Some people with medical conditions that affect their breathing need a higher concentration of oxygen than this, and use supplemental (extra) oxygen at home as part of their treatment.
24. Home oxygen therapy
There are 2 main types of equipment used in Australia for home oxygen therapy: 1 oxygen concentrators, which filter the nitrogen out of the air, providing almost pure oxygen; and 2 oxygen cylinders, which contain compressed oxygen gas. Home oxygen therapy is considered a medicine. If you are using home oxygen it is important that you follow your doctors oxygen prescription, which explains when you should use oxygen and the flow rate you should use. The cost of home oxygen therapy is subsidised by the government for people who meet strict eligibility criteria.
25. Oxygen safety precautions
Oxygen is a safe, non explosive gas when handled correctly. However, any material that is already burning will burn much faster and hotter in an oxygen enriched environment, so the following precautions should be observed when you use home oxygen. Keep the oxygen at least 3 metres from any open flame or heat source, such as candles or a gas stove, or from anything that could cause a spark. Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke near the oxygen equipment. Avoid using anything flammable near the oxygen, including petrol, cleaning fluid, and aerosol cans or sprays such as fresheners or hairspray.
26. Avoid using electrical appliances
Avoid using electrical appliances such as hairdryers and razors while oxygen is in use. Make sure you have smoke alarms in your house. Keep the oxygen equipment clean and dust free. Always plug your oxygen concentrator into a grounded electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord or power board.
27. Always plug your oxygen concentrator
Always plug your oxygen concentrator into a grounded electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord or power board. As the oxygen concentrator becomes hot when in use, locate it in a well ventilated area, away from curtains or drapes. Have your oxygen concentrator inspected and serviced regularly according to the suppliers instructions. Store oxygen cylinders in an upright secure position in a well ventilated area away from any open flame, heat source or direct sunlight. Do not cover with cloth or plastic. Handle oxygen equipment with care to avoid damaging cylinders.
28. Check with your state or territory department
Secure and transport oxygen cylinders correctly. Check with your state or territory department of transport regarding the transport of oxygen in cars as safety standards may vary from state to state. Use the correct pressure gauge and regulator.
29. Do not store full and empty cylinders together
When a cylinder is almost empty, close the valve and mark the cylinder as empty. Do not store full and empty cylinders together. Secure and transport oxygen cylinders correctly. Check with your state or territory department of transport regarding the transport of oxygen in cars as safety standards may vary from state to state.
30. Discuss with your doctor
If you have been prescribed oxygen 24 hours a day you may need a back up oxygen cylinder. Discuss with your doctor whether this is the case for you. When a cylinder is almost empty, close the valve and mark the cylinder as empty. Do not store full and empty cylinders together.
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